- Livestock Sectors
ECIP met at Zoetermeer on 2/3 December 2013 to discuss progress on its work programme, and to learn of industry developments in the Netherlands. The visit was organised and hosted by the Dutch Dairy Board. The Group discussed opportunities under the first call of Horizon 2020, expected to be announced on 11 December 2013. A presentation on the Dutch Sustainable Dairy Chain initiative was given by LTO, followed by discussion on potential relevance to other dairy producing countries. On the final day, a visit was made to a pilot farm participating in the ‘Cows and Opportunities’ project, funded jointly by the Dutch Government and the dairy industry. Of particular interest, was the pilot work being undertaken on the development of novel housing and bedding systems for dairy cattle.
A working group of experts consisting of John Bailey (AFBI, Northern Ireland), Paul Withers (Bangor University, UK), Leon Sebek (Wageningen University, Netherlands), Leif Knudsen (Knowledge Centre for Agriculture, Denmark), Debbie Mc Connell (DairyCo, UK), and Wiebren van Stralen (LTO, Netherlands) met on 11/12 March 2014. The objective of the workshop was to identify mechanisms by which farmers can improve phosphorus efficiency in dairy farming systems, by assessing and evaluating current KT and R&D initiatives targeting P use efficiency. This also drew on the outputs from the recently completed EU Interreg project DairyMan. The group will be making recommendations to ECIP, and to other relevant fora, on improving the uptake of existing knowledge and information on phosphorus use efficiency by dairy farmers.
At the invitation of Agrisearch, ECIP travelled to Northern Ireland for its meeting on 11 June 2013. The meeting was held at the AgriFood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Hillsborough. In addition to its normal business meeting, presentations were given by AFBI staff on the interesting and varied programme of research being conducted in Northern Ireland. Agrisearch introduced its global research officer, a joint appointment with Queens University, whose role is to survey farmer research requirements, review international dairy research, and produce technical material relevant to Northern Irish farmers. The group visited the farm of Thomas Steele, Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the Year, to see on-farm research and demonstration in practice. From Wednesday 12 June until Friday 14 June several ECIP members participated in the Knowledge transfer Conference 2013 (organized by the European Commission and Teagasc) at the University College in Dublin.
The EFSA Animal Health and Welfare panel have received a request from the EU commission to provide a “Scientific opinion concerning a multifactorial approach on the use of animal and non-animal based measures to assess the welfare of pigs” EFSA-Q-2013-00667 The deadline for completion is 30/04/2014 http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionsListLoader?unit=AHAW